Lakers Lair Column: Ingram or Simmons?

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Lakers Lair is by Laker fans talking Lakers

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With the Los Angeles Lakers locked in for the no. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the conversation has begun about who we will choose after the Philadelphia 76ers make their no. 1 overall selection. The two frontrunners are Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons, and it’s a layered discussion to be had about how each of these top prospects fit with their projected teams.

Based on what’s been coming out of the 76ers camp, Ben Simmons is headed to Philly. Who should go where depends on who you ask, so for this column, two Society members who are also Laker fans were asked to make an argument for either Simmons or Ingram as the best fit for the team. Martin Soaries will argue for Ben Simmons while BJ Boyer will argue for Brandon Ingram.

Soaries for Simmons:

I think Ben Simmons can be just the right glue piece to fit between our young talent nucleus of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle. Out of the three, Russell is the most gifted passer, and I’d like to see us have another high-level passer on the floor to create more opportunities in Luke Walton’s offense.

Some might be concerned about Simmons’ positional fit with the Lakers, which I understand. He’ll probably be best suited as a four, which obviously conflicts with Julius Randle, but for me, both players are position-less “tweener” forwards. I see them co-existing with Simmons playing the three, and both are playmakers, so having both on the floor only makes us more dynamic and difficult to defend.

Boyer for Ingram:

I personally prefer Ingram over Simmons due to the fact that Brandon addresses our most glaring need, which is the small forward spot, as he’d infuse the Lakers’ already promising young nucleus with even more firepower.

Los Angeles lingered in the bottom half of the league in most major statistical categories on both sides of the ball, and although Ingram wouldn’t single-handedly have the Lakers madly climbing the ranks, he’d be an enormous help as he’s a capable player on both sides of the ball.

The kid doesn’t even know what he can do with his body yet. All of his moves aren’t aesthetically pleasing, as he still does some awkward-ish maneuvering, but once he fills out and learns to be comfortable with his stature, he’s capable of being a big-time scorer in the NBA.

D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and hopefully one of Hassan Whiteside, Bismack Biyombo or Festus Ezeli is a youthful, but intriguing starting five for the Lakers under the tutelage of the savvy Luke Walton. If you were to insert Ben Simmons into that squadron I wouldn’t be upset in the slightest, but I believe Ingram is a great, if not better answer for our Lakers.

 

Laker fans, who would you prefer for the franchise going forward? We’ll find out Thursday who’s being adding to our developing core.

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